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Scotland and Wales in Pinatar Cup

Scotland will have the chance to defend the Pinatar Cup after being confirmed in this year’s line up.

Wales, meanwhile, enter the tournament for the first time and both will play three matches during the February international window, including meeting each other in the opening match.

Pedro Martinez Losa will take his Scotland squad to Spain for a 10-day training camp next month that will serve as the ideal preparation for April’s World Cup qualification double-header against Ukraine and Spain.

The players will have fond memories of the competition from success in the inaugural tournament, in 2020, when victory over Northern Ireland capped three wins out of three and saw them lift the trophy in the Pinatar Arena.

This time around, Scotland are scheduled to take on Wales on Wednesday, 16th February (2.30pm kick-off, GMT). The two sides previously met at Parc y Scarlets last June, with Scotland winning 1-0 on that occasion.

In a new look, eight-team format, the winner of that tie will take on whoever comes out on top between Slovakia and Belgium on the Saturday, with the competition then splitting into two different ‘gold medal’ and ‘consolation’ paths, which guarantees another game for either team against one from Russia, Poland, Republic of Ireland or Hungary.

Wales will use the matches to prepare for their remaining four 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers. Grainger’s side currently sit second in the group and will face top of the table France at home on Friday 8th April (venue TBC).

Scotland are next in action on home soil in their World Cup qualifier against Spain at Hampden Park on Tuesday 12th April.

Gemma Grainger said on the opportunity of playing in the Pinatar Cup: “We see the three games at Pinatar as an opportunity to help us continue with our preparations to qualify and compete for a World Cup. It’s a great opportunity to play against higher ranked opposition, and we’re looking to expose ourselves to those opportunities as often as possible.

 “The players will be excited for this. It’s a tournament environment and we want to qualify and compete in major tournaments. Three games in six days effectively replicates a major tournament so we’re going to use that environment to get everything we can out of it, both on and off the pitch.”